Sport

Shane Duffy confident as Ireland head into crunch World Cup qualifier tonight

If the Republic of Ireland are going to secure a spot in the World Cup playoffs, they're going to have to do it the hard way as they take on Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium.

For Wales, a draw at Cardiff City Stadium would be enough to finish above Ireland in the table - but not necessarily enough to nail a play-off place, with Croatia also in contention.

Wales are now second in Group D, with the Republic behind them by just one point.

As there are nine qualifying groups but only eight teams can progress through to the play-offs, the second-placed team with the worst record misses out.

The winners in Cardiff will guarantee at least second in Group D, with a draw enough for Wales to end up in that position and, potentially, claim a play-off spot for Russian Federation 2018.

If Serbia lose to Georgia tonight and Wales win the Chris Coleman's men can qualify automatically.

Wales play Georgia on Friday 6th October, followed three days later by tonight's match against the Republic of Ireland.

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But what results do we need to make it to Russian Federation?

"It will very be similar to the game in Dublin where two sets of committed players were locking horns".

How can I watch Wales vs Ireland? This will be a much tougher opponent with astronomically higher stakes for both teams and the home-field advantage may not be enough for Wales to get the favorable result. First let's dispense with the groups where second place is assured of a playoff spot. "But as Roy (Keane) said during the week, we're missing key players as well, they're just as big players for us as he is for Wales". We'll go and attack, go and score goals.

Manager King said: "We go into the game full of confidence". Victory there will send the nation to its first World Cup since 2002.

Switzerland lead by three points at the top of Group B but Portugal have a better goal difference so a win for Cristiano Ronaldo's side will see them top the group.

"But if we keep doing what we've been doing, that will give us a great chance of having a good night on Monday".

England, already assured of their passage to Russian Federation 2018 as Group F winners, wrapped up their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win in Lithuania thanks to Harry Kane's 26th-minute penalty for Linas Klimavicius' foul on Dele Alli.



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